Mekong Delta basketball player dies on court

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Basketball player Diep Phuoc Loc of the Soc Trang Team collapsed on the bench and died during a Mekong Delta Basketball Competition match on Sunday. He was 28.

According to Soc Trang Team coach Huynh Long Bao, Loc was registered as a substitute in the match for use in later matches.

At the start of the third set, Loc suddenly collapsed and fainted on the bench. Coach Long and Loc's teammates provided first-aid but it proved futile.

"Loc didn't show any unusual sign of any health problem during the 11 years he practiced and played with the team. So we were very surprised," Bao said.

According to the coaches and referees at the event, organizers of the contest had not paid enough attention to the first aid provisions. No healthcare workers were on hand to provide first aid in case of emergencies. It was a regional competition but no ambulance was available as is required by the rules.

A member of Soc Trang Team had to call for an ambulance but it took too long to arrive and they had to get a car at the Soc Trang Sports Center to take Loc to hospital, but it was too late.

About 10 days ago, Fabrice Muamba of the English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers collapsed on the pitch, but his life was saved thanks to good first aid and high quality care.

Loc's death is evidence that enough attention is paid to first aid and healthcare activities as part of the organization of a sport event.

After the incident, many coaches and players strongly criticized organizers of sports events for paying little attention to players' needs.

In 2003, cyclist Do Xuan Tam collapsed during a pre-SEA games competition. The lack of prompt first aid and healthcare led to a heart failure that proved fatal.

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